Forty-two individuals took an important step toward initiation into Christ and his Church on Sunday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception during the Rite of Election.

Father Christopher Seibt, director of the diocesan Office of Liturgy and RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), explained that these catechumens—unbaptized persons studying and preparing to receive the sacraments—“were declared to be members of the elect by Bishop Lucia for the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation. They will now begin their final preparation for the celebration of these sacraments.” Father Seibt added,  “This is at the heart of Lent and of the work of evangelization that we do.”

In addition to the elect, there are 97 candidates in the diocese who are preparing either to complete their Christian initiation with the celebration of the Sacraments of Confirmation and/or Eucharist or to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church. A candidate is one who is already among the baptized. Included in this number are 15 students from Syracuse University.

The total number of 139 persons involved in this year’s RCIA effort is a high-water mark for the diocese since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

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